How Build a Green Bean Teepee and Other Ways to Support Beans


Easy Pole Bean Support

Bean teepees are easy to make and will provide support for pole beans or even climbing peas. We’ll show you how to make a bean teepee as well as 4 other ways of creating supports for climbing beans so you can pick the best system for maximum harvests.

Building a Bean Teepee

The rounded shape of a teepee makes it sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, so this is a great choice of support if you have an exposed garden. Extra-long bamboo canes are most commonly used for making bean teepees, but any other tall supports will work, from lightweight aluminum or PVC pipes to hazel poles.

Build your bean teepee in an area of the garden that gets at least five hours of direct sunshine a day, and dig lots of well-rotted compost into your planting bed before you start.

We’re using 8-foot tall bamboo canes to make our bean teepee. This means that even after pushing the canes six inches into the soil and tying the tops together, there’s still at least six feet of cane for the beans to scramble up. 

  • Your bean teepee should be made at least three feet wide, with the poles or canes set about a foot apart. A wide, tall structure allows for a great space within the teepee for kids to play.
  • Use a garbage can lid or similar object as a guide for your circle. Position the first canes at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, then fill in between. Once they’re all in place, tie a piece of string onto one of the canes, near the top. Then tie the next cane to it, and repeat for all the canes until they’re secured.
  • To help the beans climb up the teepee, run string horizontally across the canes. For our teepee we’re using three lines – the first about a foot up off the ground, then the other two evenly spaced along the remaining length of canes.
  • Either sow two beans at the base of each cane, then remove the weakest of the two seedlings, or plant robust seedlings that have been raised elsewhere. Loosely tie the young plants in; they should then begin to climb without any more assistance. Water beans after planting and keep the soil moist. Once the pods appear, harvest every couple of days and the plants will keep producing more.

More Ideas to Support Green Beans

There are other vertical ways to support green beans than the traditional teepee.  In the below video, look at five ideas for bean supports: the teepee, an A-frame, a V-frame, wall trellising for a small space, and a beautiful walkthrough archway.

See the Almanac’s Guide to Growing Green Beans from sowing to harvesting for more information about how to grow this prolific garden vegetable successfully!

About The Author

Tim Goodwin

Tim Goodwin, the associate editor for The Old Farmer's Almanac, has been reading North America's oldest continuously published periodical since he was a young child, growing up just a short drive from the OFA office. Read More from Tim Goodwin

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Lee (not verified)

1 year 2 months ago

What do you recommend for gardening on a windy 5th floor balcony in Ottawa , Ontario ? Sun hits at 3 p.m.

Ruth (not verified)

3 years 2 months ago

Such a great idea. Definitely doing this! Thank you !!

Dale Borg (not verified)

3 years 2 months ago

I use a1/2 whisky barrel and use at least a52 inch tomato cage inverted. Tie the ends that would normally go into the ground with a zip tie at the top. This has worked well for me. Fill the1\2 barrel with a mixture of garden soil and potting soil.

Kathryn Hutton (not verified)

4 years 1 month ago

I remember the poem from the childcraft books vol. 1 page 81. I went and looked it up what a great memory!

kathleen murphy (not verified)

4 years 2 months ago

this is a splendid idea! when I get the space will definately go for it, got lots of fava bean seeds

Margaret Nava (not verified)

4 years 2 months ago

GREAT video - will definitely plant beans next season!

carolkelley (not verified)

4 years 2 months ago

I am reminded of the poem "The Butterbean Tent" from my childhood.

All through the garden I went and went,
and walked in under the butterbean tent.

The poles leaned up like a good teepee
And made a nice little house for me.

I had a hard, brown clod for a seat,
And all outside was a cool, green street.

A little green worm and a butterfly
And a cricket-like thing that could hop went by.

Hidden away there are flocks and flocks
Of bugs that could go like little clocks.

Such a good day it was when I spent
A long, long while in the butterbean tent.
Elizabeth Madox Roberts

I loved that you showed a little kid in the bean tent!

Delores Bennett (not verified)

5 years 1 month ago

Just made my bean teepee today. Will let you know how it works out. I used bamboo canes, 6 ft. since that is what the store had.

Chris (not verified)

6 years 1 month ago

What a great idea! This technique saves space and looks quite attractive and, one doesn't have to bend down to reach the upper level crop (what a bonus for folks with bad backs). Yes, I'm going to try this next season for my bean, scrambling peas and some sweet peas, too. Thanks for the idea!